[ocr errors]




than 'too thankful' in perceiving, the triumphs of temperance over drunkenness, and virtue over vice?

But in what sort are Mr. Daniell and his Echo 'thankful’? Not merely idle in promoting teetotalism; but actively engaged in a melancholy attempt to check it!

From the very sanctuary itself—at the behest of folly and fashion-armed with imperfect knowlege, and burning with unsanctified zeal—they would paralyze a cause which has led thousands from the seats of the scorner to the sanctuary of God-and from the haunts of vice to the cross of Christ! Their thankfulness is of a curious sort : it is a tree without fruit—a principle with no 'outworkings,' or such as are worse than none,-a barren pame, not a living sympathy,-nay, it is a MOCKERY of help to the bleeding wounds of humanity!

The second 'capital’ admission of Mr. Daniell is somewhat more pertinent, and even sensible as far as it goes.


Our author probably meant that teetotalism is an excellent principle for drunkards, for an ism is not a society; or, that “The teetotal society is excellent for drunkards.' His arguments, however, in support of this position, are impotent enough.

Sin, says he, must not be left off by degrees. If a thief would cure himself of stealing, he must steal no more: so if a drunkard would cure himself of drunkenness, he must drink no more. Where is the analogy? Stealing at all is sin: does Mr. Daniell hold that drinking at all is sin ? If so-his pamphlet is a defence of sin, for it is a defence of limited drinking. Again, with the same infelicity of illustration, he says:

“If the billows of yonder ocean roll at all, they will roll where they please; and if the billows of your depravity are permitted to roll, they will roll till they drown you in perdition."

Is, then, the little-drop' the first of the billows of depravity'? If not—where is the argument that the drunkard must not take the first glass, if he would avoid the second ? Nothing can well be more inconsequential than Mr. Daniell’s logic, or more pointless than his illustrations.

As a rule, it is true that nothing will save the drunkard short of entire abstinence from the drunkard's drink. There have been, in the course of ages, a few exceptions, as there are exceptions to the most general rule; but the exceptions establish the rule, rather than destroy it. Mr. Daniell's powers of observation are much stronger than his powers of ratiocination : hence he notes the fact, but misapprehends the reason. Concerning the philosophy of intemperance, indeed, he rests in the profoundest ignorance: and as he here records his refusal to “get wisdom, and get understanding' thereon, we presume that he is one of the disciples of A Pope, as well as of the GRAND INQUISITORS, and holds to the doctrine

Where ignorance is bliss, 'twere folly to be wise.' The necessity of abstinence in the drunkard arises from the fact, that the drunkard's appetite is a physical disease, generated, under a law holding good of all physical stimulants, by the habitual use of the drunkard's drink. In the case of every drunkard, littledropism and drunkenness are cause and effect; and Mr. Daniell, tho for a reason he knew not of, correctly states, that if the first wave be admitted the others will follow. Teetotalism, however, is not only excellent for the drunkard but for the suber-not for one member of society merely, but for society itself.

As lunatic asylums are excellent places for lunatics, as hospitals are excellent places for the poor sick—so teetotalism is an excellent society for drunkards.”

Apart from its physical advantages, teetotalism is excellent for all. IT IS AS NECESSARY TO PREVENT AS TO CURE INTEMPERANCE. None but a teetotal community ever were, or ever will be, free from drunkenness. A society of moderate driukers have the seeds of

[ocr errors]

disease in their midst-seeds which, in the church and in the world, will as inevitably ripen into the plague of intemperancea plague worse than all the plagues of Egypt--as the corn which is sown in winter will spring up and ripen to the harvest. Teetotalism is not an 'hospital for the sick '--but a cordon sanitaire--a line of demarcation between the infected and the pure. On the far side of this barricade are the drinkers and the plagueon this side teetotalers and health, where the plague can nerer come.

Who, then, are the lunatics ? Not those who choose virtue, safety, and health—but those who stay where pestilence and vice, madness and death, have held their carnival during forty centuries! And who are they? The drinkers. Hence, it is not the teetotal, but the Bibbler's society, which Mr. Daniell can aptly compare to a great 'LUNATIC ASYLUM'-and he himself dwells in the midst.

“It is not necessary that the sane man should wear the chain, to make the insane willing to be fettered : neither is it necessary that every man should abstain, to reform the drunkard.”

A comparison is not an argument; tho bad reasoners find the one an easy substitute for the other. First, then, as to the comparison. Teetotalism is not a chain, but a principle dictated by experience, confirmed by science, commanded by reason, and sanctioned by God. Obedience to it, is obedience to truth, and the truth does not fetter, but make free. But drinking is a chain—a chain often of strongest habit--a chain that becomes more firmly riveted upon millions thrö every passing day, and by which intemperance fetters them fast to his chariot wheels, and leads them captive at his will!

Having exploded the rhetoric, let us consider the logic. It perhaps is not necessary that every man should abstain, to reform the drunkard'--for then the indifference or selfishness of one might prevent the self-denying and the good from reaping the fruits of their labor. Thousands of drunkards have been reformed, without every man' having abstained. But it was necessary, nevertheless, that THOSE who had the honor and blessedness of actually accomplishing these instances of reclamation should themselves abstain. A living EXAMPLE will find its way to the drunkard's heart, when a cold and lifeless precept would be shut out. Show him that you feel an interest in his case, by making a sacrifice, and he will be moved-while a 'profession’ of mere words will be regarded as “sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.' We have had in this sphere of benevolence, as in others, too much of preaching and too little of practice, we want less words and more works. Hence, while the sober have refused to abstain, cases of reformation, even during the course of centuries, have been ‘few and far between': but now, when our precepts are verified by our practice, instances of reformation are like the stars of heaven in brightness and in multitude !

“If every man is not to abstain, who is to begin ?”

The assertion that every man is not to abstain’ is a non sequitur. Every man ought to abstain from alcohol as a beverage. Every man ought to begin--and begin now. A bad practice cannot be too suddenly abandoned: a good one cannot be too soon commenced. But let us hear our sage author's resolution of the question.

“I reply, those whose hearts God has stirred up, and whose consciences God has impressed that it is their duty."

What have we here? Mr. Daniell contends that the bible imposes all duties but does not impose this duty-how, then, are men's hearts to be 'stirred up,' and their 'consciences impressed '? Are they to be baptized with some miraculous influence ?-impressed by some supernatural power ? If not-how can they be impressed with a duty which, as his pamphlet was printed to prove, cannot, does not exist ? Again

“I mean concience regulated by the calm study of the word of God, and the due consideration of circumstances."

[ocr errors]

» etc.!

The very

As far as the bible is concerned, this duty must be universal, or no duty at all; for the bible speaks universally. It does not say—“Teetotal is the duty of Nathaniel, but not the duty of Daniell?!--as this latter personage seems to argue; what it says to one it says to all. But circumstances alter cases.' Of course-still, as far as the bible is involved, its language is the same, and hence it can in no peculiar way 'impress’ A more than B, unless their 'circumstances' are different. Now what particular 'texts' and 'circumstances' are they, which make it a man's duty to abstain ? We apprehend that the united voices of the bible’ and circumstances' will only amount to this:--You thereby can do good and eschew evil. But this applies to one man as well as to another. All can do good in this cause-ministers especially—and hence ALL ought to have their hearts ‘stirred up,' and their consciences impressed that it is their duty'-ministers especially! Mark the cogency and consistency of Mr. Daniell's exculpation-It may be somebody's duty thus to do good, but it is not necessarily mine!

“I rejoice in its existence; I suspect not the sincerity of its conductors; I PRAY for its continued and larged efficiency

What a mockery is this! Mr. Daniell has evidently been brought up in the school of the wagoner who prayed that the wheel of his carriage might be lifted out of the rut--but who did not set his own shoulder to the wbeel to lift it out! We should better credit Mr. Daniell’s sincerity, were he to work for its “enlarged efficiency,' instead of praying for it, and prating against it. This cant of friendship is as hollow as it is hateful.

We find some pages filled with much unmeaning rhetoric concerning 'coercion' and conscience.—Is the publication of opinion an infraction of religious liberty ? reverse is the fact. Yet, in what other way do teetotalers seek to influence the public mind? Mr. Daniell speaks of our unhallowed attempts to 'ply a spur to its [conscience's] conscientious stillness'! Now, we dare say, this very preacher, in the exercise of his business, will strive to awaken the conscience which is still and dead, to the calls of duty and of God. It is all very well to talk of a “conscientious stillness ’—but either ignorance or depravity may be its cause. We attempt to break the ignorant 'stillness of the pub. lic mind to the impropriety of indulging in the use of a physical poison, and upholding a system of demonstrated evil. If the proclamation of the truth be tyranny, and opposition to evil be oppression—then we are verily guilty, and glory in our shame. We tell the drinkers of alcoholic poison, that their practice is unjustifiable, pernicious, and wrong—a violation of the principles of science, of the laws of health and of God :-that drinking involves an enormous waste of God's bounties in the conversion of wholesome solid food into an artificial and pernicious liquid which is poisoning the health and polluting the morals of the community, and which, in the preliminary process of malting, involves an extensive violation of the Sabbath, and of the primitive revealed law of creation-Behold ! this grain and fruit shall be to you, O man, for FOOD;-we tell them that those things are connected with the existence and perpetuation of intemperance and all its dark train of ills,—that he who is not for us is against us.--and thus speaking the plain, unvarnished truth, we offend the fashionable and the foolish, the bigoted, the interested, or the worldly, who thrö their speaking trumpets, cry out with a loud voice and one accord, as tho they strove to drown the still small voice within— Coercion! Tyranny !! Oppression !!!' The imbecile advocates of error, who cannot annihilate our facts, por confute our experience, nor crush our reasonings, as a dernier resort, would fain stifle their own conscience by persuading the world that we seek to fetter it!

Mr. Daniell's third 'capital' position is thus expressed



We admit the premiss--that teetotalism is not imposed by scripture, for we should wonder if it were—but, shades of Aristotle and Aldrich! whence did your illustrious disciple purloin his 'consequently'? It is a new form of the old fallacy—that no duties are binding but bible-worded duties! We know not whether this heresy is most pestilent or most preposterous. We reply, in the language of Archbishop WHATELEY, “if a man, denying or renouncing all claims of natural conscience, should practice, without scruple, everything he did not find expressly forbidden in scripture, and think himself not bound to do anything that is not there expressly enjoined, exclaiming at every turn

"Is it so nominated in the bond ?' - he would be leading a life very unlike what a Christian's should be.May our young preachers profit by the rebuke of this excellent prelate ! Mr. Daniell’s positions and Mr. Daniell's fortifications seem to rival each other in weak

Hear how this second Daniell' attempts to fortify old Shylock's position. “I must have [says he] the express precept for infant baptism before I dare enforce it, and I must have the erpress precept for total abstinence before I proclaim it necessary to christian consistency.”

That is, because positive, arbitrary, religious ordinances, require an express scriptural precept for their impositiontherefore teetotalism does, which pretends to be no such thing! Had teetotalism-like infant baptism—been professed as a religious or scriptural ordinance,—then the argument might have had point and power : but as it stands, it is only worthy of the nursery. Adapted to the nurse it would thus run. 'I must have the express precept from the bible for the baptism of that infant : THEREFORE I must have the express precept from the bible for curing it of the measles '!

Necessary to christian consistency'—what means that ? Is it some loophole of ambiguity, to creep out of a difficulty ? A man is consistent who walks according to the light he has : who first seeks to know, and then performs, his duty. They who shut their eyes to the light, because they love darkness and its deeds, are not consistent with either reason or revelation. We say, then, to the christian, assuming that he is also a reasonable beingif you know, or might know, the evil of drinking alcoholic liquors, and either refuse to enquire impartially, or to abstain from the cup which is proved to be pernicious—you are doing that which is not only not consistent with a christian profession, but absolutely inconsistent with natural obligation. Nature cries—' Do thyself no harm,'—- Christianity adds -Whatsoever is not of faith (or knowlege) is sin.'

Mr. Daniell argues that St. Paul's declaration (Rom. xiv. 21) is unfairly applied to the world.

“It is not written, It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, whereby the drunkard, but whereby thy brother stumbleth.”

The circumstances which originated this celebrated declaration are clearly different from any that can well transpire in the present day: yet its spirit, if not its letter, must be applicable to circumstances in every age. St. Paul could not mean that it was good to relinquish an abstract right only when his brethren stumbled in a certain sense: it was the fact of their 'stumbling,' not the object at which, or the way in which, they stumbled—which called forth that noble burst of feeling. In truth, the apostolic declaration is more strongly applicable to the stumblings occasioned by strong drink,' and to its victims, than to the actual case which gave rise to it. If it was his duty not to drink, even an innocent wine, when his brethren stumbled thrö their own weakness of faith, partly voluntary at least-surely it is much more our duty not to drink a noxious liquid as an example to our weaker brethren, by which they stumble in vast multitudes-stumble thrö the power of a physical stimulant, and the involuntary weakness of their constitution ! In the




apostle's case, it was not the wine-drinking which caused the sin: in this it is; for there is no greater truth in science and history than this--that the use of alcoholic stimulants physically tends to excess.

As to the world. If it be good, by relinquishing wine, to save a few brethren in the church from the sin of eating with doubt, is it not infinitely better, by the same means, to save myriads of our brethren, both in the church and the world, from the sin of the drunkard here, and the perdition of the drunkard hereafter ? After all, Mr. Daniell cannot dispute the application of the apostolic injunction to our

His heart reasons better than his head. 'It is good,' says the apostle, “neither to drink wine, nor do anything, whereby thy brother stumbleth or is made weak.' Our plan is good, echocs Mr. Daniell and his Echo, for “those whose hearts God has stirred up' to execute it!—the only drawback is—it is either too good, or not good enough, for them ! As might be expected from one who refuses to refer to "human authorities' as to human opinions, Mr. Daniell falls into some ludicrous mistakes as to our actual sentiments.

“If half a dozen brethren say that they are stumbled, because their fellow members will take the sacramental cup which contains intoxicating wine, let them remember their fellow members are equally stumbled that they will not take it.”

The fact is, teetotalers are not stumbled at those taking intoxicating wine who think that such wine is right; but we are stumbled at our brethren forcing upon us a wine we deem improper,--and, in support of that sinful tyranny, offering the alternative of excommunication ! c The liberty, therefore, which they concede to their brethren, they would wish their brethren to extend to them.

As to anti-tectotalers being equally stumbled that teetotalers will not take it.' Teetotalers are not stumbled at non-teetotalers drinking intoxicating wine : and hence, if drinkers are only equally stumbled,' they are not stumbled at all. Nevertheless, were teetotalers ever so little 'stumbled 'thereat, it would not be true that their opponents are equally stumbled' at them. No one can say that the 'fruit of the vine’ is wrong, nor that grapejuice is not 'the fruit of the Vine’: whereas teetotalers do say that fermented wine is wrong. The case, therefore, is not a case of stumbling on both sides: we are at any rate on the safe side; we are at least right--while our opponents may


wrong. Mr. Daniell is more liberal than his Elgin Echo. He says

'I would not compel the teetotal believer to take the cup, if he objected; neither would I be compelled to forego it, because he objected.

Exactly! Mr. Daniell’s error is in the supposition that any teetotaler would compel him to forego that which he thought proper. The teetotaler does not object to the non-teetotaler following his own conscience: he only claims equal respect and impunity for his own sense of right.

The objections to administering the unintoxicating cup to the teetotaler, resolve themselves into a practical difficulty. Two cups would 'destroy the unity of the holy ordinance.' If this be all, the remedy is obvious. Let the ordinance be celebrated alternately to the tectotalers and the non-teetotalers, with the wine which each party thinks appropriate, To this arrangement neither party could rationally object.

Now and then a ray of clear sense bursts thrö the thick mists of misconception. “Teetotalism is no part of God's revealed will to his church.

No, indeed, teetotalism is the erpression of that natural and universal law which issued from the will of God when Paradise was laid out in beauty; it was His Will ere revelation was rendered necessary by man's declension, and remains equally his will now

[ocr errors]

© This course was adopted at Elgin by our Daniell Redivivus, until the Tyranny produced its re-action.

« VorigeDoorgaan »